Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 04, 2018

Washington Post Blames Iran For Trump's Unilateral Sanctions Against It

Who is to blame for the Trump administration's revocation of the nuclear deal with Iran? Who is to blame for the sanctions the Trump administration is unilaterally imposing on Iran, parts of which go into effect today?

According to Jason Rezaian, it is the Iranian government.

Jason Rezaian was the Washington Post bureau chief in Tehran. In July 2014 he was arrested in Tehran for espionage and sentenced to prison. In a side deal to the nuclear agreement he was released in 2016 in exchange for Iranians held in the United States.

Rezaian now writes a Global Opinion column for the Post. His latest is headlined: I lived in an Iran under sanctions. Here’s what it’s like.

I lived in Tehran then and reported extensively on the impact the sanctions had.

If that experience is a predictor of what is about to hit the people of Iran, here’s a preview of what ordinary Iranians can expect in the weeks and months ahead.

He lists a number of issues that sanctions will cause: the rial will fall further, some medicines will be difficult to get, there will be other shortages, black markets will reappear, a few will profit from them:

That small but not inconsequential segment of the population will see its wealth balloon as it did in 2012 and 2013. There will be a disproportionate number of the most expensive luxury cars on Earth sitting in Tehran's perpetual traffic.

Sounds like London or New York to me. Indeed, as one commentator to that op-ed remarks:

A lot in this article sounds like daily life for large numbers of Americans, as if there were sanctions on a large portion of the US population. Iran may see the lifting of those sanctions one day but those Americans most likely will not, partly because so many keep voting for their oppressors.

Rezaian continues:

Soon enough, well-connected officials and their families with access to the black markets will begin importing and selling goods at exorbitant prices, callously taking advantage of the misfortune that their cronies in government helped create.

How, please, have the "cronies" in Iran's government "helped create" the new sanctions? Iran was fulfilling all is duties under the JCPOA agreement. It was solely Donald Trump who abrogated the UN endorsed deal despite the protests of all other signatories.

While Rezaian pretends to be concerned about the Iranian people, he continues to put the blame on the wrong party:

Maybe the regime in Tehran will quietly crumble tomorrow — wouldn’t that be nice? — but more likely it will press forward, doing little to address the very legitimate concerns of its people just to defy Washington.
Just as Fidel Castro’s Cuba, Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela and many other anti-U.S. regimes manage to limp along for years, Iran’s ruling class is similarly stubborn.
The general malaise of a society living under the perpetual darkness caused by being marked a pariah nation will only worsen.

It is hard to discern on what planet Jason Rezaian lives. It must be the one where all nations and people bow to the unreasonable whims of some loudmouth in Washington DC. That is not planet Earth. Iran is not "stubborn". It demands its rights under the JCPOA. Iran is not a "pariah nation", the United States are. It was the U.S. that unilaterally abrogated the nuclear deal.

Russia, Turkey, India, China and many others will not abide to unilateral U.S. sanctions on Iran. They will not bow to secondary sanctions if the U.S. tries to impose those.

Trump "cronies" visited Asia and demanded that China and India, two of Iran's biggest oil customers, stop buying Iranian oil. Both countries said no. The Trump cronies then begged China and India to not increase their imports when, in November, those sanctions bite, when some of Iran's customers stop buying and when more Iranian oil comes to the market.

Those talks happened some months ago and both countries asked for more time to think about the problem. China has now in principle agreed to the Trump request - but only after it made the necessary preparations:

The U.S. has been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports, according to two officials familiar with the negotiations ...

Beijing has, however, agreed not to ramp up purchases of Iranian crude, according to the officials, ...
China -- the world’s top crude buyer and Iran’s No. 1 customer -- has said previously that it opposed unilateral sanctions and lifted monthly oil imports from the country by 26 percent in July. It accounted for 35 percent the Iranian exports last month, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

India seems to have had the same idea:

India’s monthly oil imports from Iran surged by about 30 percent to a record 768,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July, as state refiners’ intake surged ahead of U.S. sanctions in November, preliminary tanker arrival data obtained by Reuters showed.
July volumes were about 85 percent higher than year ago shipments of about 415,000 bpd, the data showed.

When in November the hard oil sanction against buyers of Iranian oil go into effect India and China will insist to keep their current volume flowing. Both have already increased their buys from Iran. They can now promise to Trump that they will not increase their imports from Iran because they already upped those by a very large amount. Iran exports between 2.2 to 2.8 million barrels per day. At least half of that will continue to flow to its two biggest customers. By that measure the sanctions already failed.

Trump can not even use the jurisdiction over the U.S. dollar to stop these trades. The deals with India and China are made under bilateral contracts in local currencies and futures contracts than can now be bought and sold in Shanghai where they are denominated in yuan.

In addition to the sanctions the Trump regime has launched a number of shady to outright brutal initiatives against Iran. It sent people to Europe to claim that Iran is behind some terror plots in Europe, and that this is enough reason to end the deal. But: "European officials, some skeptical that Iran is behind the plots, say the nuclear deal benefits the region." Still, some European leaders have no backbone and submit to U.S. pressure.

A U.S.-Israeli joint operation was set up to increase internal pressure in Iran. It will try to influence protesters in Iran and to incite terrorism. This is likely an early sign of that initiative:

A large shipment of weapons incl anti-aircraft guns, 7000 cannon projectiles, 73mm antitank cannons, other ammo found in east of #Iran. Kerman prosecutor gen. says they belonged to anti-government groups.

Iran will not fold under pressure, it never folded. It was the Obama administration that wanted and needed the nuclear deal. It used Oman's good office to negotiated with Tehran. Trump may try to do the same (or may indeed already talk with Iran). But his administration made unreasonable demands that Iran can not and will not fulfill.

Trump's offer of unconditional talks are not welcome:

Every Iranian official I spoke to said “there is no trust in this US establishment” and that “Iran needs practical proof before initiating any dialogue.” “The U.S. tried to isolate Iran from Russia and China when signing the JCPOA, in the hope that Tehran would accept to stand by the U.S. This was a wrong approach because Russia and China are well established and reliable partners and we certainly can’t say the same for the U.S. Trump wants to sit down with us without conditions. We don’t want to sit down with him unless he backs off. His style of pressure is not the way to attract Iran; on the contrary, it is the best way to push us far away. One thing is clear: we shall not negotiate away our missile production and capabilities and the support we offer our allies in the Middle East. If this is what he wants, he can stay where he is.”

It is Trump who will have to climb down and reinstate the JCPOA deal. Unless he does so Iran will not be willing to deal with him. The problem now is that the Zionists behind Trump will not allow him to do that. They will insist on pushing the issue towards a military conflict. It will be another one of those that the U.S. continues to lose.

Posted by b on August 4, 2018 at 18:40 UTC | Permalink


The US will hit another roadblock with Iran, it is correct to say Iran won't fold nor bend to the US unreasonable demands. There are several alternatives for Iran to bypass the sanctions nowadays, many more than 10-20 years ago. Iran will have a sharp and fast recession, as always when currency devaluates and FDI dries out, but soon new moneys from Russia, China, India etc... will flow in and kick start the whole thing again.
This time, it is correct to assume Iranian oil export won't be badly hit, key buyers will continue to purchase high volumes and some new ones will get into as well, even under the threat of US sanctions. Russia has an effective bartering agreement with Iran and will put in place as well, supplying Iran with civilians airplanes, military equipments etc... in exchange of oil that would resold by Russia at a small profit.
The foolishness of this increased threats against Iran will lead to nothing but to strengthen Iran and giving Iran the good image of facing an unjustified accusation and sanctions, creating the conditions for Iran to expand its influence in most of the Middle East. Talking about backfiring, this will be a classic one.

Posted by: Canthama | Aug 4 2018 19:23 utc | 1

Perhaps Trump'detestation of Obama was a substantial factor in Trump's abrogation od the JCPOA, but if the dispute with Iran leads to war, the blame will lie solely with the Jewish Lobby -- what are the chances that the MSM will point the blame to them for American deaths in the conflict?

Posted by: chet380 | Aug 4 2018 19:25 utc | 2

US will always fail and will continue to fail due to misplaced common sense and arrogance. Iran, Russia, China, India, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen will be together. Turkey will join them and that's the best this for the region. The Wahabi-Zionist plot failed in Syria and Yemen and utter failure is impending. Foul mouth Trump can taste the zionist turd and remain kosher. US should move state department to Jerusalem and bend over for another kosher ramming.

Posted by: ShitinTrumpsmouth | Aug 4 2018 19:29 utc | 3

The hubris and incompetence of Western leaders is incomprehensible and dangerous. They do not perceive that they are projecting themselves on to others.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Aug 4 2018 19:36 utc | 4

We can all do our bit practically ! Here in the uk eny thing for sale with a bar code starting with the numbers 729 or 871 will have an Israeli origin DONT BUY IT !
Time for the push back.

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 4 2018 19:42 utc | 5

[ Iran is not a "pariah nation", the United States are"

Not to be picky,,, but using the plurality 'are' ended with the northern invasion of the CSA which changed "These united States" to "The United States"

With the 17th Amendment the States lost what little control they had.

The States are not sovereign and have no input into the dealings of the insane national government. Today they are nothing but lines on a map.

If the Articles survived or the 17th wasn't 'ratified' then maybe some of the insanity from Washington DC might have been curtailed. Maybe??

A great post though. As an American, Iran has done nothing to me. If hostilities break out and oil prices max out the fault will lie with the instigator Washington DC,,, not Iran.

Posted by: ken | Aug 4 2018 19:53 utc | 6

This is similar to a Palestinian being at fault when an Israeli soldier shoots them for participating in an unarmed protest. Exceptional nations can never be at fault.

Posted by: worldblee | Aug 4 2018 20:06 utc | 7

Trump seems to be working towards a war starting up between KSA and Iran. Also trying to get an Arab NATO together to take on Iran. A war between KSA and Iran would stop oil from the gulf and hurt China, and give the US a chance to map out Iranian defenses and missile launch sites for strikes without US bases and Israel coming under attack.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 4 2018 20:16 utc | 8

Twitter is fully on board for the moves against Iran. A week back using Iran as a search term would bring up posts that included the word Iran. Many twitter posts on Iran's side.
That has been changed so using Iran as a search term brings up posts that include the word Trump, most having nothing to do with Iran. Using #Iran brings up a huge propaganda effort against Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 4 2018 20:29 utc | 9


It was the Obama administration that wanted and needed the nuclear deal.
Obama "needed" it only because Syrian regime change was taking longer than expected. Recall the oft-repeated: "The road to Tehran goes thru Damascus" (now memory-holed).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2018 20:42 utc | 10

Peter AU 1 @8:

There's no way the KSA can afford to open another front. Their little adventure in Yemen is costing them dearly.

OT:  has anyone verified if MbS is still alive?

Posted by: Ian | Aug 4 2018 20:50 utc | 11

there will be no war with Iran as long as such a conflict might result in substantial Israeli deaths.

Posted by: Ace Hanlon | Aug 4 2018 20:57 utc | 12

Ian 11

Yes he is alive, but keeping his head down. As far as a war between KSA and Iran, I doubt KSA has any say in the matter if that's the way US Trump planning is going.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 4 2018 20:59 utc | 13

I'm not so sure about Turkey. Erdogan is making a mess of his economy which will make it susceptible to economic sanctions.

A skeptic might say he's doing it deliberately. If US prevails, he might get to keep Northern Syria.

"I hate USA so so much but my economy could be ruined Vald! I'm gonna have to sit this one out. You understand, dontcha?"

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2018 21:03 utc | 14

Usually, there is a/are false flags (to polarize the attitudes of the sheeple), and organized civil unrest in the target country. An actual "war" only happens if the "recipient" cannot fight back effectively. (reduced air power, and no missiles).

For the moment the "Iran war" is similar to a disinformation campaign to take attention away from the real disaster for the US - the collapse of the dollar, and to pretend that the overall situation for the US has not been modified from a US "the lone winner", to the US as - "just another one of three" big countries.

There seems to be an effort by Russia and China to allow the US to deflate gradually. A total collapse would not bring peace but chaos - and that would be pounced on by the NWO crowd and their SDR (special drawing rights) Financial trap. ie. A sudden total collapse of the US could also cost the Russians and Chinese their own sovereignty (independence) from the financial dictatorship of the Zombies.

Posted by: stonebird | Aug 4 2018 21:09 utc | 15

Depending on the outcome of the Iran conflict, one of the following may become apparent:

1. China moved too soon to establish a global leadership position (getting Turkey and India on-side is key)

2. US moved too late to protect its dominant position (due to greed and hubris)

Most folks at MoA will see #2 (a set back for Anglo-Zionist-Wahhabi Empire) as the likely outcome. But decision-makers in Turkey, India and other countries are not like us. They have stronger ties with USA/West than the ordinary people in their country. And they will fear retribution from making the wrong choice.

That is why I do not see a clear outcome to the coming conflict.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2018 21:39 utc | 16

Jackrabbit 16

Much will depend on what lengths the US will go to and what risks they are willing to take.
As I see it, the US continuing power in the world depends on controlling China's energy supplies and setting China back that way. Coupled to that is US Zionism all targeted at Iran.
On the other side, it will depend much on Russia China moves, but also cancelling the nuke deal and threats of sanctions are acting as a catalyst for SCO with Turkey now wanting to join, and India China in agreement within the SCO over the US moves on Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 4 2018 22:02 utc | 17

Ian 11 and Peter AU 1
MBS alive? Pointers to references please? More recent than the world cup if possible.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 4 2018 23:33 utc | 18

@18 if you think MBS is dead then pointers to references.
MBS was supposedly dead after the bit of gunfire in Riyadh back in april, but then he showed up in Moscow in June.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 4 2018 23:49 utc | 19

Hi b and apologies for going off topic to you and all but the following may be of interest.
I am indebted to the great conversation at for the inspiration.
In Salisbury UK for the last few days the police and CW scientists have been frantically trawling through trash bins and mini skips looking for something small. Perhaps a perfume bottle, perhaps an sd card?
In my research and following of the Skripal story I had missed the point that Yulia worked at the US embassy in Moscow. That points to a highly likely circular information trail that fed the Orbis/ Christopher Steele dirt dossier on Trump.

The US ambassador is a Department of State appointee.
Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and resigned a couple of years prior to 2016 election.
When was the ambassador appointed? This person would be a senior player and would have left a grubby path I assume.
Was Yulia supplying fake material (cooked up in USA) courtesy US embassy to Sergei in his work for Orbis/Steele.
Did Obama know?
The Russian government was not happy with the hate russia witch hunt in USA and no doubt was interested in any traffic between dad and daughter.
Theresa May is in desperate need to compensate Trump for her idiocy in assisting the Orbis/Steele dirt dossier so Hillary might win. She is also desperate to cover her tracks and those of her friends.
The USA deep state is in panic over Trump’s victory and will stop at nothing to cover its ar$e.

Did Yulia skip town in the nick of time to be vanished in UK? or has she jumped into the fire.
Perhaps Yulia was carrying something precious as a ‘gift for a friend’.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 4 2018 23:58 utc | 20

This was not hard to predict. He talked about this multiple times on the campaign trail in addition his closeness to Israel in his personal life. With China, Russia, and India ignoring the sanctions only misery will be accomplished. He is waging a global war without bombs and bullets for the most part.

The Revolutionary Guards will profit handsomely off this as the are only really interested in enriching themselves. The Arab NATO angle is a complete joke. Who are they going to hire to do their fighting for them?

The Israelis will crap all over themselves over this failure. They cannot take on Iran, there will never be an Arab NATO, and the other great powers will never get on board. All that is left is their Anglo American partners. I am not sure we can handle another BS war.

Posted by: dltravers | Aug 4 2018 23:59 utc | 21

Uncle Tungsten @ 20:

US ambassadors to Russia: John Huntsman Jr (Oct 2017 - ), John Tefft (July 2014 - Oct 2017), before Tefft was Michael McFaul who used his position to contact Russian political opposition groups and NGOs. I read The Blogmire too.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 5 2018 0:33 utc | 22

@ Peter AU 1 | 8

Trump seems to be working towards a war starting up between KSA and Iran. Also trying to get an Arab NATO together to take on Iran.

We can see KSA and "Arab NATO" in action in Yemen - they cant do jack sh** against slippers wearing and khat chewing common folk with 60 years old weaponry, with hardly any heavy weapons too, and no anti-aircraft SAMs or even MANPADs.

MbS may be megalomaniac, but he isnt that stupid to attack Iran, and even if he was pressured to - it would be the shortest war in the history of mankind.

A war between KSA and Iran would stop oil from the gulf and hurt China, and give the US a chance to map out Iranian defenses and missile launch sites for strikes without US bases and Israel coming under attack.

1. This war wont happen. 2. Vast majority of Iran's defense and missiles systems are MOBILE, mapping would be useless. Iranians know with whom they are dealing with, and they were preparing for decades.

Posted by: Harry | Aug 5 2018 1:02 utc | 23

A lot in this article sounds like daily life for large numbers of Americans, as if there were sanctions on a large portion of the US population. Iran may see the lifting of those sanctions one day but those Americans most likely will not, partly because so many keep voting for their oppressors.

Indeed; everything the U.S. does abroad comes back to us in spades...

Posted by: V | Aug 5 2018 1:28 utc | 24

Supposedly wealthy Iranians are fleeing for Serbia where they may enter visa free. Afghan migrant workers are returning to Afghanistan due to the decline in the value of the rial on the black market (banks supposedly refuse to sell dollars for rials at the official rate). In the run up to sanctions there are protests and runs on banks and stores selling imported goods.

Is this the real situation? No idea.

The US/Israel will never conduct a ground invasion of Iran. However, could Iran threaten to invade Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and disrupt oil production there? I should think such a threat would be enough to stop any consideration of an air war

Posted by: Pft | Aug 5 2018 1:54 utc | 25

Pft | Aug 4, 2018 9:54:20 PM | 25

Iran's AA defenses are quite robust, not least because of its S-300's and indiginous AA as well.
Geography is also on Iran's side; mountains concealing both defensive and offensive armaments deep underground.
My major concern is the loose talk by U.S. politicians of using tacticle nuke bunker busters.
Putin made it clear; any use, regardless of size, of any nukes against any ally of Russia will be met with instantaneous, full on, retaliation

Posted by: V | Aug 5 2018 2:22 utc | 26

Jason Rezaian's presumptuous claims are embarrassingly mawkish and infantile even by WaPo's own childish standards. As any Westerner visiting a country with a non-Western economy, whether as a tourist or for Biz knows, one is completely insulated from, independent of, and unaffected by the economic factors which determine the quality of life of the local citizens. There is simply no way of visually deducing how easy or hard the life of a random local may be.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 5 2018 3:29 utc | 27

Create enough smoke without fire, and that alone drives prices higher, especially energy commodities. Could that be the reality?

We'll soon see. Maybe the Trump and Putin secret meeting was DJT trying to get a pledge by Russia not to push too hard on behalf of Iran. Actual war does not have to happen, just the fear of it.

Both countries could make a bundle of $$ on increases in the price of a barrel of oil.

Posted by: ben | Aug 5 2018 3:53 utc | 28

Russia-US relationships and the case of Bill Browder:

More about the treason among the US Congressmen:
"If half about the Curious Case of Bill Browder is true, then the “Magnitsky Trio” of Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Ben Cardin are guilty of espionage, at a minimum.
Why? Because they know that Browder’s story about Sergei Magnitsky is a lie. And that means that when you tie in the Trump Dossier, Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS, the Skripal poisoning and the rest of this mess, these men are consorting with foreign governments and agencies against the sitting President."

Posted by: Anya | Aug 5 2018 4:09 utc | 29

Transcript of the Putin Trump press conference.

Putin talked of a range of issues they had discussed but, quick read of Trump's speech will show what was uppermost on Trump's mind when meeting with Putin. Domestic politics and Iran. Trump needs Putin onside for his Iran plans.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 5 2018 5:17 utc | 30

Russia has already agreed to help Trump by increasing production when the sanctions take effect to offset an increase in oil prices. Like Putin cares if no one buys Iran's oil and Trump bankrupts the Iranian people

So what if India imported more in July; it imported less in June and cut its imports by a quarter in general over the past year. This July increase means squat. I read that India is already looking for alternative suppliers and the U.S. is increasing oil exports to India as an incentive for India to cave to Trump's demands.

It was solely Donald Trump who abrogated the UN endorsed deal despite the protests of all other signatories.

Well finally the writing on the wall cannot be denied. Trump the one trick Russia pony comes with lots and lots of serious liabilities like kissing the Zionist and Saudi rings helping to destroy Yemen and Iran and maybe his other obsession, Venezuela.

Of course, my hope is that he destroys America as well, and by the looks of it; he's doing a pretty good job.

Americans green-lighted every perverse Bush/Obama war (Iraq, Libya, Syria) and for that they deserve Trump's bitchslap.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 5 2018 5:47 utc | 31

The spot price of oil is relatively unimportant except for speculators . Most refiners purchase oil from OPEC with long-term contracts. However, consumers of the refined product are charged the spot price with profits locked up in offshore eurodollar accounts. These dollars and multiples of them can be loaned to countries like the US by purchasing US Treasuries. Get it now?

The trick obviously is to bump up the price without causing real shortages

Posted by: Pft | Aug 5 2018 7:15 utc | 32

Anya@29. The Deep State engineered one of the great heists of all time. Over 1.4 trillion in funds from looted Russian assets made its way into Eurodollar accounts and then much of it made its way into the US /City of London in the form of low intetest loans at multiples of the deposits. Browder and his banket partner Safet who flew billions in USD on his money plane were Deep State operatives. As for Trump being a victim, lol, his bankrupt empire was restored with these looted Russian dollars

The Magnitsky Act IMO is simply a mechanism to keep it all covered up. Keep quiet or lose your assets in these tax havens , many of which exist at the Crowns pleasure

Posted by: Pft | Aug 5 2018 7:29 utc | 33


That may be true in part but refiners in the US negotiate the price of oil and compete against each other while the ship is in the ocean. The price is not fixed and can go up and down while at sea.

Posted by: dltravers | Aug 5 2018 7:34 utc | 34

"It sent people to Europe to claim that Iran is behind some terror plots in Europe"
I was puzzled when I read in Dutch media about the terror attack on cyclists in Tajikistan which killed two Americans, a Dutchman, and a Swiss citizen. ISIS claimed responsibility. The Tajik interior minister blamed the banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) and claimed that its leader was trained in Iran. Needles to explain here why I did not buy that, but now I think this is part of that scheme you mention here, frame Iran for Wahhabi terrorism in order to foment a war against the country. One can only hope that Europe understands how absurd the accusations are and further isolate the US instead of Iran.

Posted by: Joost | Aug 5 2018 8:58 utc | 35

The US's sanction policy is masochistic, psychologically maimed and cruel. It controls, torments and seeks to ruin countries by putting them on a sanctions regime at pleasure because they're able to. The media apparently derive pleasure at reporting how all-powerful and nasty their bosses in D.C. are and the bosses, in turn, grin and brag about their power around the world, warning everyone, everywhere to toe the line or else, the line being defined by their personal and national interests, whims, nothing more. The Magnitsky Act is an especially transparent example. Bill Browder lies through his teeth and the bosses suck it up: they profit personally from his see and tell act, use him as camouflage to push their nasty international objectives. Where is the consensus that Magnitsky was murdered except in the self-aggrandising propaganda spread by Browder himself? Evidently Washington accepts that Browder is completely above board---or pretends that it does.

Posted by: Quentin | Aug 5 2018 9:57 utc | 36

Quentin @36:

Sooner or later people will get tired of being the victim. There's no doubt the US is against the ropes. Once the bully's weakness is exposed, some of the victims will start circling around him. Before you know it, the bully gets sucker punched. It's only a matter of time now.

Posted by: Ian | Aug 5 2018 10:42 utc | 37

Quentin @ 36

I meant not 'masochistic' but 'sadistic', quite the reverse.

Posted by: Quentin | Aug 5 2018 11:26 utc | 38

The US is not against the ropes, but it sees the ropes in sight. What we are witnessing now, is a faction of the ruling class change the rules of the game so that their structures of power remain, and so that they can win again for the next 50 years. The BRICS were starting to win the old game and were amassing too much power, and together might have even been a serious threat to US hegemony. Europe was enjoying its position in the previous order, and was hesitant to let go for fear of not have a suitable new position in any new. But as you can see from its recent moves, it has acquiesced to having a role at the table.

There is no surprise that European countries control the vast majority of shipping fleets of the world, and the US the largest navy. In the eyes of the US, China stepped out of line when it started to build a blue water navy - that position belongs solely to the hegemon. The one belt, one road project was also not looked kindly upon.

The US will now drive up interest rates, in the belief that its economic/political system with two heads will be more resilient than any system with a single one. The short term fall in import prices due to a strong dollar will blunt any impact on exports. And even though such a policy will eventually damage the US, the belief is that it will damage other opponents on the world stage much more, and sooner.

When capitalists look to move or invest capital, they look first for stability (for their production), and secondly for markets. If the US can increase the level of uncertainty around the world while maintaining the relative safety of its own harbour and its select friends (which you will see emerge anew as the pain they feel makes them more pliant to US demands for protection), it will win. In this respect, China is in a bind, if it doesn't respond in kind to US moves it looks weak, if it does, it increase uncertainty for American firms operating in China. Trump and his team will not stop their tariff action until every single import from China is taxed. The main drive of this is to force China into an asymmetric response, as this increases the level of uncertainty further.

As for Turkey, Iran and any smaller-order geopolitical actor which wishes to assert a level of independence in their policy... they will burn. Without the expressed protection of Russia/China that fire will be of both the economic and military form.

The so-called deep state is/was the formerly entrenched faction of the elite which benefited greatly from the previous economic order. They understand that they have much to lose while a new segment of the elite ascends.

There is only one iron-clad rule when it comes to the economic ordering of the world as it is --

--any system is good as long as a white man can be assured of slowly coming into possession of everything.

Posted by: Out of Istanbul | Aug 5 2018 11:27 utc | 39

@2 chet 380

The Zionist lobby in the US is indeed powerful and enjoys a level of influence over politicians and government policy that other lobby groups can only dream about having. But it operates under the laws of the United States of America and its power could be revoked tomorrow if the government or the president decides to grow a pair and prohibit well funded special interest groups from buying the USG’s services in what amounts to legalized corruption.

Sorry buddy, the existence of the Zionist lobby does not get the US government, or its citizens, off the hook. The government scam artists that enable it are greedy for cash (and/or have Zionist sympathies), while the citizens who bitch and whine about poor wittle Murica are just too lazy or brainwashed to recognize who has the greater share of power here and believe people like Trump who play the victim card as aggressively as any SJW stooge.

Tell me buddy, what is Israel going to do if its influence buying operation is shut down by the US government? Nuke the lower 48 states? Slap tariffs on American imports Or maybe it will stamp its feet and pout because that is all it can do. It’s a no brainer. You must be seriously sheepled or a troll.

Posted by: Porridge & Lager | Aug 5 2018 11:38 utc | 40

The Zionist lobby in the US is indeed powerful and enjoys a level of influence over politicians and government policy that other lobby groups can only dream about having. But it operates under the laws of the United States of America and its power could be revoked tomorrow if the government or the president decides to grow a pair and prohibit well funded special interest groups from buying the USG’s services in what amounts to legalized corruption. Porridge & Lager | Aug 5, 2018 7:38:47 AM

That will take a new generation of politicians. Right now, the populations ekes their existence slightly better than before, jobs are not so good but they are there, and people are used to festivals of corruption became as "American" as beauty contests. actually, that terminology is extended to parades of politicians in front of Sheldon Adelson or AIPAC meetings (we are spared the evening with swimming costumes, so we may count our blessings).

Every politician of note witness humiliations and occasionally, defeats of those that offend the current customs of the land. I guess the appreciation is decreasing, so there is a hope for a new generation. I think that a major international defeat can have salutary effect, Trump's "double or nothing" on Iran may be that, or not.

Most of the international actors are as myopic as our politicians, but they have very different internal pressures, so there should be a recoil.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 5 2018 12:29 utc | 41


You may want to read some of Michael Hudsons stuff. The refiners are for the most part owned by the seven (now4 ) sisters who control OPEC and much of the refineries and are interlocked with the international banksters. The price they pay for oil imported into the US may very well fluctuate while in transit and is paid to the company that is registered in the tax haven in which the shipping company is registered, but that agreement between the company and the Opec oil producer is for the most part fixed and much lower than their refinery pays.

Posted by: Pft | Aug 5 2018 12:34 utc | 42

Out of Istanbul | Aug 5, 2018 7:27:10 AM | 39
There is only one iron-clad rule when it comes to the economic ordering of the world as it is --

--any system is good as long as a white man can be assured of slowly coming into possession of everything.

Apropos of nothing, my best friend moved to Istanbul to be with her new Turkish husband, whom I have met, along with his mother; and like, both. A very nice guy with a gracious mother.
Basically you got it correct.
Turkey and the U.S. are destined to be adversaries; for your stated proclivities.
Whiteness is on its way out in the world order, IMO.
But, it probably won't be pretty...

Posted by: V | Aug 5 2018 12:43 utc | 43

The "battle" right now is mostly for India and Turkey. Each side needs their support.

We should closely watch what they say and do.

They both have significant economic and political ties to the West and an uncertain/uneasy relationship with Russia and/or China.

The EU is Turkey's largest trading partner and Turkey depends greatly on Western investment. Turkey's leaning westward is reinforced by its membership in NATO and that Erdogan is an Islamist.

Erdogan's mismanagement of the economy (e.g. lowering interest rates in an overheated economy) almost seems deliberate in that it makes his economy more susceptible to sanctions at this crucial time. Furthermore, Erdogan's conflict with US over Pastor Bunson is suspicious as it comes during the run-up to US-Iran war.

India has traditionally had a poor relationship with China and China-allied Pakistan. India is a member of SCO (as of June 2017) but Iran is NOT so India has no formal obligations wrt Iran.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 5 2018 13:09 utc | 44

It has been reliably reported that Obama agreed to fight alongside the Saud family in Yemen as pay off for supporting the JCPOA.

In human costs then, the agreement has been a disaster from the beginning. A little so called peace of mind in Iran for the slaughter and starvation of 20 million people in exchange. Obama the family man, so nice - so polite, so confident in his extreme Calvinism, he kisses the kids each evening after his tiring days of slaughter to rid the world of evil.

Trump is much worse of course. He doesn't seem to be on friendly terms with peace of mind.

Still, my view is that the Pentagon will resist as they see no good military options short of nukes. The US's only power left is its military and it is incapable of solving any of the pressing problems the US has. The US dreams of global empire have confronted reality.

The really positive long term view of this is that the USA will be the last Empire. No more will white Europeans run around the world slaughtering and plundering at will. There are no upcoming imperial states, not China, not India, not Russia are in the least interested in empire.

This marks the end of 500 years of white Christian domination conquest genocide slavery and slaughter. The end of a long Calvinist nightmare.

(Sorry if I offend the Germans, Luther had his say its just the Calvinism ended up dominate at the US center of power.)

Posted by: Babyl-on | Aug 5 2018 13:18 utc | 45

Anya @29

Have a trawl through the transcript of Browder's appearance before the US Court in New York. It is hilarious Sergeant Schultz stuff.

Posted by: Yonatan | Aug 5 2018 13:24 utc | 46

@31 Circe
@40 Porridge & Lager

Interesting points.
Do you both think the US American people have a chance of waking up? if so, can it be in time?
Also the question of complicity and complacency of the people in their government's actions has always fascinated me. What do you ( both) think is the part of the people of the US America/ west (in general) in what their elected governments has done/ is doing/ planning to do?

Posted by: occidentosis | Aug 5 2018 16:41 utc | 47

@ Jackrabbit
Iran is an observer Nation at SCO
According to Escobar, it is only Tajikistan preventing Iran from becoming a full member.

SCO put out a statement back in 2013 regarding unilateral sanctions on Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 5 2018 17:22 utc | 48

What do you ( both) think is the part of the people of the US America/ west (in general) in what their elected governments has done/ is doing/ planning to do?

Posted by: occidentosis | Aug 5, 2018 12:41:50 PM | 47

The most dispiriting moments are when the patience of the Western people runs out, they "throw the bums out" and elect...

Emmanuel Macron, Trump or another "authentic face". It reminds me older approaches to problem solving, like praying for miracles. An example (from memory) in The History of Frankish Kings by Gregory of Tours. The author, a bishop, described a number of miracles.

Attilla the Scourge of God invaded Gaul, destroyed a number of cities and besieged Orleans. As the Huns were striking the city wall with battering rams, the saintly bishop of the city implored the inhabitants to prostrate themselves and pray to the Lord for deliverance. As they completed the prayers, they still heard the battering rams. Thus the bishop implored the people to repeat it, with similar effect. Then he implored the people once more, and as they fervently prayed, Magister Utriusque Militiae Flavius Aetius and Theodoric King of Goths approached with their armies and the Huns retreated. All you godless unbelievers must admit that it was a miracle that it actually worked.

Perhaps throwing bums out for the third time in a row will work too,

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 5 2018 19:11 utc | 49

Good to see Canthama on MOA, if it's the same Canthama.

On TDS, which is all over the comment section. If Trump weren't fully aware that politics is the art of the possible he'd be long gone. Might be more realistic to be grateful for whatever small mercies he can get past the Beltway. I dread to think of the state Syria would be in now if the other one had got in.

Posted by: English Outsider | Aug 5 2018 21:26 utc | 50

Browder - Yonatan and Anya

Thanks for the unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole that was the Browder deposition.

One thing to notice early on was that Browder was heavily lawyered up; among whose names was ex-senator John Ashcroft, who was the sanctimonious sherpa who guided Clarence Thomas through his Senate confirmation hearings, who made him out to be the villain, and must have encouraged Thomas to declare himself undergoing a "high tech lynching".

Browder surely was an inspiration for Jeff Session's appearance before Congress when Sessions kept replying "I cannot recall" to nearly each question. Browder must have had a kind of lobotomy before leaving Russia that destroyed his memory of the years while over there stealing money and avoiding taxes.

It's a shame that no reporters nor the three Senators mentioned by Yonatan bothered to read the deposition.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Aug 5 2018 21:58 utc | 51

Attacking Iran will certainly hurt China as it will disrupt the flow of oil
and increase cost of all products and processes.

Same goes for India.

So, at this time, Beijing and New Delhi must be busy courting African
oil producers.

But if the two were to court and corner Venezuelan oil, they would sure
hit the US where it hurts as they need these heavy crudes to mix with
their light ones.

All in all, it will take a naval war to solve the World's equation. Either
the power of the US Navy is curtailed or it may prevent China and
India from securing their oil supplies from the ME

Meanwhile, Turkey has an ace up its sleeve as, since the US is not a black
sea nation, Ankara can prevent US ships from leaving or entering the Black Sea.
So whatever ships are in there are eventually effectively blocakaded and useless.

Would the Iranians close the straits?

Consider that any hostilities between the US/Zion and Iran will effectively
close the straits. The US prays for it to happen. Drive the cost of oil up.
Hamper BRICS progress and rise while the US floats above the crisis on
shale oil, ocean drillings and fracking.

Well, short of going to naval warfare. China and Russia are bound to rise
to a symbiotic union to insure a steady supply of oil and gas and a greater
commercial activity between the two nations.

All in all, India is the most probable entity to cooperate with the Iranies.
It is in the Russian armament sphere. no oil can be cheaper than ME oil
and gas.

So, in the end, India may fight alongside Iran to secure a steady supply of
oil because it is their best alternative.

In the power grab that will follow, the Koreas will be integrated within the
Sino Russian duo as well as Taiwan.

Probably, there will be no thermo nuclear war.

The silk road will emerge the winner because of its win-win attitude.

The Americas will be -as usual- a victim of its oligarchy at all levels and in
all nations except Cuba.

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 5 2018 23:32 utc | 52


Just read your questions. Americans are as complicit in the global tyranny, depravity and corruption their government operates in as the Romans were in the colosseum in Rome cheering as Christians were fed to the lions. Americans are so full of zealous patriotic hubris, religious mania and/or spiritual bankruptcy; their judgment in respect to the rest of the world is condescending and/or clouded by fear and bigotry. They imagine all the world wanting to be them but view the accomplishments of others on a lower scale unable to measure up to their American standard and those who reject their world view and order they make the perennial outcast and enemy.

I doubt very much that the narcissistic American public that feeds on exploitation of the planet will change of their own will despite their hypocritical so-called Judeo-Christian values.

The only way I see change is if the political rift becomes so wide it drives them to civil war and destitution. Trump could accomplish that. Deep divisions cause cracks in the pillars of Empires. Unfortunately other disasters and catastrophes only make Americans dig in their heels and seem to have the effect of making them even crazier: 9/11 case in point.

Americans will wake up too late after they allow Zionists to lead them into a nuclear holocaust.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 6 2018 2:19 utc | 53

@53 "I doubt very much that the narcissistic American public that feeds on exploitation of the planet will change of their own will despite their hypocritical so-called Judeo-Christian values."

They might if they wake up one morning and find gas at $10 a gallon, no more coffee and donuts, and all the ATMs malfunctioning. Until then it's life as usual.

Posted by: dh | Aug 6 2018 2:27 utc | 54

@Peter AU 1 | Aug 4, 2018 4:59:32 PM | 13

Yes [Saudi Arabia's Mohammad bin Salman] is alive, but keeping his head down. As far as a war between KSA and Iran, I doubt KSA has any say in the matter if that's the way US Trump planning is going.

Well, it wasn't really Putin watching those World Cup games; the guy who was actually there is remarkably similar, but he was too fat to be a black belt in Judo. The real President of Russia was probably still in the Kremlin preparing for his Helsinki meeting with Trump; the photos of Putin from the summit look distinctly different from the fatty sitting in the place of honor in Luzhniki Stadium.

And I doubt it was really Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) sitting there. I couldn't see his face, as he always appeared to be talking to the FIFA president (Infantino?) next to him whenever the camera focused on them; the putative MbS's head was turned away from view. So all I could see was his nose sticking out of his head gear.

So a fake MbS was talking to a fake Putin; that was so appropriate.

Posted by: Cyril | Aug 6 2018 5:26 utc | 55

@Out of Istanbul | Aug 5, 2018 7:27:10 AM | 39

In this respect, China is in a bind, if it doesn't respond in kind to US moves it looks weak, if it does, it increase uncertainty for American firms operating in China. Trump and his team will not stop their tariff action until every single import from China is taxed. The main drive of this is to force China into an asymmetric response, as this increases the level of uncertainty further.

The Chinese are not in a bind.

They have already responded with retaliatory tariffs.

Their internal economy is already so large that the external trade is tiny in comparison. For example, all of China's exports put together amount to roughly 10% of GDP; the exports to the U.S. are an even smaller fraction.

And Trump's tariffs on a measly $34 of China's goods are barely even a pinprick to a $12 trillion economy.

As usual, a lot of fake news is going around.

Posted by: Cyril | Aug 6 2018 5:42 utc | 56

I wrote:

And Trump's tariffs on a measly $34 of China's goods are barely even a pinprick to a $12 trillion economy.

Oops, I meant "$34 billion" of course.

Posted by: Cyril | Aug 6 2018 5:44 utc | 57

CarlD @52 "Probably, there will be no thermo nuclear war."

I would agree with you there. So long as the current US regime stays in power.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 6 2018 6:25 utc | 58

The Drumpfster is wagging the dog with Iran.
The Iranian people should know that the economic tyranny Drumpf is about to rain down on them is a cowardly act meant to distract from his lying ways with a show of fake strength.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 7 2018 4:17 utc | 59

Message to the Iranian people: You are about to be bombarded with a Zionist/U.S./Saudi psy-ops invasion. Don't believe any of the avalanche of propaganda. When Zionist America hates; they inflict tyranny on the object of their hatred and then after they kill your spirit they promise you help. Look at what happened in Syria. Did Zionist America really care about the Syrian people? The countries most involved in starting war U.S., Israel and KSA took in the fewest or zero Syrian refugees.

Zionist America and Saudi are going to shower you with compassion railing against your government blaming them for your affliction, and feeding you the Zionist propaganda while they starve you and bleed you dry. They want to reduce you to rubble like in Syria and steal your oil and gas. Trump believes in the spoils of war. Stand up and resist.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 7 2018 5:38 utc | 60

John Bolton, Drumpf's deputy sheriff and trained Rottweiler, and I emphasis ROTT as in rott-en to the core, is on a mission to destroy Iran, but both of these lunatics receive their orders from Tel Aviv, as in foreign influence, the real foreign influence on the U.S. government not the Russian excuse. Billions of Zionist moolah ends up U.S. political coffers; but no one cares about that real foreign influence cause they have dual citizenship so it's not a crime.

So I suggest all those Russians who support Drumpf get dual citizenship to cover their ass; and they can pretend they love America when their first allegiance is elsewhere. Israel first. So why not Russia first?

Americans on the Left and Right are just as blind. They keep sending their children to be maimed and killed year after year in the Middle East for a foreign country's agenda. Evangelists are the gatekeepers of Zionists so the enemy of Zionists must be decimated and Israel secured. They couldn't be more pleased that the Jewish state has been declared exclusive Apartheid property. They relish the thought of so many potential victims in the nasty end of times. It's a twisted relationship. We'll sacrifice our children so that you can own Israel, so that you'll all perish there in the end. Except for one thing. Zionists know that's all mishegas revelations and what they're really doing is using Americans' stupidity to become masters of the universe.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 7 2018 6:18 utc | 61

Trump's perfidious narrative: "The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!"

The current Trump administration has started economic war on China, increased the ongoing one on Russia and rebooted the one on Iran. There's also the lesser ones and armtwisting of it's vassals like EU, Canada, ... . I'm skeptical that China and India will get away with continued oil purchases. Could also be that by November the USA empire is doing what it does best which is destroying the country after it was goaded into attacking something or more likely after another false flag attack. It would probably be something like Desert Storm 1. Only 2 years into Trump, it's safe to say that he's worse than his predecessor. Not that his predecessor lived up to any of his promisses.

Posted by: xor | Aug 7 2018 11:10 utc | 62


Don't expect regime change in the U.S., period! Zionista America bitches about how Iran's elections are rigged because the clerics vet the candidates of the different parties. What they don't bitch about is the staggering hypocrisy of their own system in which candidates to the Presidency must first prostrate themselves on the altar of Zionism and profess their undying love for Israel. In other words, what's good for Israel must be good for America; Israel first. Billions of Zionist-recycled U.S. dollars are funnelled into the coffers of the American political system; just to keep it tightly rigged. No resistance to the Zionist-influenced duopoly allowed. No regime change allowed.

Some democracy! Pft!

Posted by: Circe | Aug 7 2018 15:55 utc | 63


So true!

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 7 2018 22:00 utc | 64

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